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NewSplash Archive – July 2022

Issue 30 – 7/26

Demonstration of a potent, universal coronavirus monoclonal antibody therapy for all COVID-19 variants
The SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 has killed 6.3 million people worldwide since 2019, painfully highlighting the vulnerability of humanity to novel coronaviruses.

A novel COVID-19 vaccine using modified bacterial DNA
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues elsewhere, describe a different way to build a COVID-19 vaccine, one that would, in theory, remain effective against new and emerging variants and could be taken as a pill, by inhalation, or other delivery methods.

WHO declares monkeypox a public health emergency
In light of the continued spread of monkeypox around the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared monkeypox a public health emergency. According to the WHO, monkeypox cases currently number 16,000 across 75 countries and territories.

UK researchers develop antiviral face mask
Researchers from the University of Kentucky have developed a medical face mask membrane that can capture and deactivate the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on contact.

Scientists develop a new nonopioid painkiller with fewer side effects
A promising new nonopioid painkiller (analgesic) with potentially fewer side effects compared to other potent painkillers, has been discovered.

Beyond Clean Season 17
A sterile processing department’s case cart washer holds a tremendous amount of processing power, so it’s worth understanding the ins and outs of how this key piece of reprocessing equipment operates. This episode’s guest is Beyond Clean Advisory Group member Tami Heacock, MBA, CRCST, CIS, CHL, director of sterile processing at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.


Issue 29 – 7/19

It’s Time to Speak with Authority and Elevate Your Confidence by Rebecca Kinney
In the past year, so many sterile processing (SP) leaders have stepped out and up to express their voices. They’ve done this on social media, at conferences, and in publications just like this. It’s a beautiful thing to see the industry elevated to new heights. For years, SP departments have supported the operating room and voices have sounded like a whisper yell more than a confident voice of authority, and that is changing. Yet, for some of us, it’s still hard to express our voice and concerns and speak with authority. This article will cover some considerations for you when it comes to speaking with authority as an industry expert, and how to elevate your confidence.

US secures 3.2 million doses of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DOD), has secured 3.2 million doses of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine. The protein-based, adjuvanted vaccine will be made available for free to states, jurisdictions, federal pharmacy partners, and federally qualified health centers if it receives U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA), and recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nasal sprays will be essential to thwart variants
Those widely available COVID-19 vaccinations keeping the majority of the population free from serious illness will not be enough to stop the spread of the virus and its variants, new University of Virginia collaborative research indicates.

Three more companies begin testing for monkeypox, increasing nationwide testing capacity
As cases of monkeypox continue to climb in the US, three more companies began testing for the virus, according to the CDC.

Researchers leverage AI to identify sepsis within 12 hours
In a medical field like critical care, where time can mean life or death, a sepsis diagnosis is like the final buzzer.

Beyond Clean Season 17
Sterile processing sinks are becoming more and more complex, customized in design, and strategically ergonomic. This episode’s guest, Jereme Oldt, VP Sales and Customer Relations for TBJ Incorporated, breaks down the misconceptions around this intersection of stainless steel, water, and the will to clean.


Issue 28 – 7/12

FDA authorizes pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid with certain limitations
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revised the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir), to authorize state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid to eligible patients, with certain limitations to ensure appropriate patient assessment and prescribing of Paxlovid.

The Joint Commission issue new Quick Safety advisory on managing packaged sterile supplies and devices
Managing commercially prepared sterile supplies and devices can be challenging for healthcare organizations. A new Quick Safety advisory from The Joint Commission, “Managing packaged sterile supplies and devices,” provides guidance to keep patients safe from infection and other potential harm from expired or compromised supplies and devices. 

Widely used hospital gowns show signs of exposing workers to infection
Disposable gowns designed to deflect the splatter of bodily fluids, used in thousands of U.S. hospitals, have underperformed in recent and ongoing laboratory tests and may fall short of safety standards, leaving healthcare workers with a greater risk of infection than advertised.

Labcorp testing for monkeypox, doubling nationwide testing capacity
Labcorp is now testing for monkeypox using CDC’s orthopoxvirus test (which detects all nonsmallpox-related orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox).

New study shows reductions in antibiotic use at ambulatory care clinics participating in HHS-funded program
Antibiotic prescribing at ambulatory care clinics was cut almost in half in clinics that participated in a safety program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Research published today in JAMA Open Network is the latest demonstration that AHRQ’s efforts to help healthcare providers manage their prescribing practices more appropriately can significantly improve antibiotic prescribing.

Beyond Clean Season 17
This episode, René Vis, International Product Line Manager at Steelco, discusses washer-disinfectors and their role in sterile processing. He explains the different types of washers on the market, how they work, and the future of washer-disinfector technology as the industry moves forward.


Issue 27 – 7/5

Professional Intention: It Must Be Nice by Sarah B. Cruz, CSPDT, CRCST, CHL, CSSNerd
“It must be nice” is a phrase too commonly heard along the sterile processing professional development journey. While the purpose of this expression is an attempt to make one feel ashamed of something that is coming to fruition, it speaks more clearly of the individual saying it. Envy, disbelief, regret, and misunderstanding are just a few of the feelings that arise when we compare ourselves to what we are seeing. Social media and working with the same peers day in and day out have made the professional progress of others more easily accessible and, dare I say, more critiqueable.

FDA recommends inclusion of Omicron BA.4/5 component for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) independent experts on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met to publicly discuss whether a change to the current vaccine strain composition of COVID-19 vaccines for booster doses is necessary for the 2022 fall and winter seasons. 

CDC activates Emergency Operations Center for monkeypox response
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to lean forward with an aggressive public health response to the monkeypox outbreak by activating its Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This action stands up the CDC’s command center for monitoring and coordinating the emergency response to monkeypox and mobilizing additional CDC personnel and resources.

NIH-funded project offers efficient approach when tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants
An interdisciplinary research team has developed a fast, cost-effective method to detect the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Dissolving implantable device relieves pain without drugs
A Northwestern University-led team of researchers has developed a small, soft, flexible implant that relieves pain on demand and without the use of drugs. The first-of-its-kind device could provide a much-needed alternative to opioids and other highly addictive medications.

Beyond Clean Season 17
The steam autoclave is the powerhouse of sterile processing, but how much do you know about what goes on behind the steel door of your department’s steam sterilizer? On this Season 17 premiere of “The Power to Process,” focused on the equipment that keeps our departments processing, we sit down with Shane Pinkston, Commercial Operations Manager Surgical Workflows at Getinge, to dive into this workhorse of reprocessing, and highlight important considerations about the technology that every frontline SPD professional should know.